UCL News


Spotlight on Richard Mole

29 September 2011

This week, the spotlight is on Dr Richard Mole, Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology, School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Richard Mole

What is your role and what does it involve?

My day job is being a Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. My teaching focuses on courses relating to the relationship between identity (ethnic, national, gender, sexuality) and power, which is also where my main research interests lie.

I have just been awarded a Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to carry out a research project on gay migration from Central and Eastern Europe to London and Berlin.

I have recently taken on a new role within UCL: namely, as the Societies Pathway Representative for the new BASc in Arts and Sciences. My role here is to help students who choose Societies as their major or minor pathway to put together a bespoke programme of social science courses drawn from the full range available across UCL.

This will involve identifying courses that meet students' interests but also fit well together to ensure that the portfolio of courses is cohesive and provides sufficient depth as well as breadth of expertise in the study of society.

In addition to the pathway electives, all students on the degree take courses on Approaches to Knowledge, Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Methods, Interdisciplinary Research Methods, Object-Based Learning, the Knowledge Economy as well as a foreign language over the three years of the programme.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I arrived at UCL in 2003 as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, working on a project on 'Identities and Culture in Europe'. The following year I was offered a permanent position at SSEES as Lecturer in the Politics of Central Europe. Since then, I have had a number of roles, the main being IMESS Programme Director.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

The achievement of which I am most proud is the establishment of the International Master's in Economy, State and Society (IMESS), which with my colleague, Christopher Gerry, I set up in 2005. The following year, it was recognised by the EU Erasmus Mundus Programme, making UCL the first Russell Group university to receive such recognition.

The degree offers three study interdisciplinary tracks - Economics and Business; Politics and Security; Nation, History and Society - with students spending their first year at UCL and the second at one of our partners in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Serbia.

The main objective of the IMESS programme is to enhance global understanding and awareness of the wider European region and to develop cultural and linguistic skills as well as expertise in quantitative, qualitative and interdisciplinary research methods. So, the experience I have acquired over the past six years should stand me in good stead for the challenges of the BASc.

What is your life like outside UCL?

My two passions are travelling and eating. In the past year, I've been to Lima, Tallinn, Krakow, Berlin and Barcelona and four of the five are great destinations for a foodie! I am on sabbatical next year and am moving to Berlin in October for 12 months, so I am really looking forward to exploring the city and the rest of Germany.

Find out more about the BASc